GW #14 Review: Hasenhuttl the head hunter & Leicestermania runs wild!

Written by @JackAGoodwin

Do you like visual stimulation, excitement, explosions, sexual tension, car chases, drama and gunfire? Well, hmm, OK – we might run into a problem here. Because the GW14 Review is a few short of the full bingo card this week (contains absolutely none of that).

You know the YIRMA GW Review format by now, surely. Ten matches all shoved into ridiculous photoshopped scenarios to allow the games to fall within my own baffling storylines.

With the quickfire game weeks coming this week I decided to give my brain a rest, at least on the photoshopping front, so enjoy as we jump head first into the results from GW14…

Newcastle 2 – 2 Man City

One of those rare viral moments that transcends the internet and becomes folklore almost instantly. Time will tell whether this dissolving City team is a mere blip in the Matrix or whether we must adjust our lives / FPL agendas accordingly. Sure, Raheem & Kevin got themselves valuable points once again, but the leaky defence is alarming and suggests there’s reason to avoid the City backline for the foreseeable.

Burnley 0 – 2 Crystal Palace

Is Wilfred Zaha an FPL elite player? Not really: well, sort of. He idles between “must-have” & “punt-pick”. If you haven’t ever had Zaha in your FPL team at some point in your FPL lives, then can you really call yourself an FPL player? Not sure you can. Not sure. Another unknown is whether Burnley are a good side, just last week we were literally drooling over Tarkowski (not in that way) and describing the lads as ever-improving – now they lose at home to Palace? A missed opportunity to go 5th in the league, and with City & Tottenham up next it appears their shot wasn’t taken in time and are set for a fall down the table in the next week or so. Palace host Bournemouth in the week – perhaps it’s worth a short term punt (again) on Zaha?

Chelsea 0 – 1 West Ham

I want to say something to caveat this one: I am a very simple man. Phenomenally easily entertained. Give me an Ikea chest of drawers to assemble or even just a side of spicy rice from Nando’s and I’m on cloud nine. Yet Chelsea gave me 90 minutes of nothingness, I was bored which doesn’t bode well for a side which only weeks ago we hailed as medium-hot level Nando’s sauce. Still, very much secure in 4th spot at the moment with a tidy next couple of fixtures – however they need to inject something more, a spark, a “Hazard” type player performance which I can’t see the right guy for the job. Do they get to Jan in the hope to coax a playmaker into the squad? On the other side of this London affair was West Ham, who were probably more surprised to win this one than the rest of us. Perhaps they caught Chelsea napping, because it sure as hell wasn’t that they were phenomenal.

Liverpool 2- 1 Brighton

I’ve said it before, but Jurgen just can’t do anything wrong so far. Liverpool do it yet again, taking all the points in a game offering them yet another scenario to puzzle their way out of (this time losing their star GK due to a straight red). Jurgen fascinates me, he’s a caricature German with suspiciously white teeth. Routinely shouts the words “dude” and “hey man, listen” at the younger, more hip journalists with the manic enthusiasm of a children’s TV presenter whose personal life is catastrophically falling apart. He’s guaranteed to be capable of smiling whilst shouting at you. I think just his presence on the side lines intimidates Liverpool’s opponents, very much like Sir Alex would whilst he aggressively waved football boots around. Therefore, I believe Brighton lost because of Jurgen, not Van Dijk.

Tottenham 3 – 2 Bournemouth

A very weird week or so in the world of Premier League managers. Before everyone got over the fact that Poch had been sacked off, Jose stepped into his still-warm shoes, immediately throwing all-kinds of lovely smiles and dinners at ball boys & girls. Can’t argue that he’s likely a really good dad. Be warned though Spurs fans, he’s like this, you’ll win a few games and he’s be suited ‘n booted but the moment the press discover he’s living in a Premier Inn at Heathrow terminal 3 it’s downhill from there. Jose will implode, unpack all his tracksuits and forget about shaving and washing his hair to the point he’s sat in JUST his gilet screaming “I hate you!” to ball boys who take less than 3 seconds to assist goals. It’s inevitable. Jose is inevitable. So, enjoy this momentary run of success, I am sure (like Real Madrid, Chelsea & United before) that an ex-Spurs player will soon step in to manage you guys…Robbie Keane anyone?

Southampton 2 – 1 Watford

We’re here to have a laugh though, aren’t we? Hasenhuttl is essentially the grim reaper for managers at the moment and it’s glorious. Previous weeks have seen him get Emery sacked at Arsenal (2-2 draw), question Silva’s position at Everton (a close 2-1) and now he’s delivered the axe to the hairy neck of Quique after beating Watford. Managers are getting binned off all over the shop this season and I think I have identified the culprit. Next up for Hasenhuttl’s Saints – Norwich. Farke is literally cacking his trousers I’m sure. It gets no easier for Watford once they find someone to take over the sunken ship as they head to Leicester on Wednesday. Speaking FPL for one moment, Danny Ings looks alright doesn’t he! ß That’s the FPL content you wanted, right?

Norwich 2 – 2 Arsenal

“New manager who dis?” Freddie’s new voicemail proclaims as he rejects calls from the Arsenal board after just one match. Here’s the thing: Arsenal, now, are bad, yes; but bad in a strange, mediocre way where they’re not bad enough to be bad-bad, just underwhelming. They’re bafflingly stacked with talent and have the success and money to charm the quiff right off Robbie Williams smug head. In fact, the only thing seems to be the absence of true leadership to rally the blokes together. Can Freddie be the man to turn it around? Looking at exhibit A, Ole Gunner, I would suggest not. Similarly, the fans will warm to him so much so that they’ll allow the team to become worse before better. Oh yeah, in case you missed the invite guys, the Pukki Party was open again last week and remains to this day. Sure – the Vardy Party is much more established and looks to never stop – but if you can’t pay the entrance fee why not go slightly Butlins on this one and take a trip to Pukki’s? Southampton next, worth a punt?

Wolves 1 – 1 Sheffield United

Sheffield United threaten me, the waterproof way they bat off challenge this season is scary – where have they come from. Wolves too, these two are determined to break into the top 6 this season and may just do it, both of them. Have Sheffield got the players to sustain this momentum throughout the season – I’ll punt for no. Wolves on the other hand are slightly more equipped and have proved seasons before that they’re capable (they’re in Europa still dontcha know). Sheffield may leverage a medium-large stake into the January transfer window and it’ll be intriguing to see what talent they can attract – now of course under Saudi rule (not in that way).

Leicester 2 – 1 Everton

It’s hard to ever know what’s going on with Leicester: they exist in a strange and fascinating liminal area of success, where they are enormously, hugely, Beatlemania-famous to people in Leicester, but most of the players weren’t a part of “that season”, so it doesn’t really count. Yet here we are. Brendan Rodgers has reignited the flames and gave us all yet another glimpse of what can happen when a mid-table team finally switch up a gear – he’s doing great things only to see his beloved Liverpool legging it in front of him, so far, they’re nearly too far ahead. It’s 8 points, it’s doable. Boxing Day – if you’re not still pissed – watch Leicester vs Liverpool, it’s potentially going to be season defining for them both. Everton now with Liverpool, Chelsea & United coming, probably just keep Silva until afterwards. No point sacking him, no point. Poor sod.

Man United 2 – 2 Aston Villa

Reluctant to destroy the United team after this one in case Gary Neville tries to get me or I get mass picketed by an entire community of online fans but: if you strip out any scrap of positives from the 90 minutes from a United perspective, you’re still left with about 80 minutes worth of match to review! It’s as if this United team’s spiral towards mediocracy is by design rather than not, which not only worries me to the points where I feel 10% less of a person after each match, but stinks of uninterest by anyone in a meaningful role behind the scenes in Manchester. On the plus side, it does give the media an absolute field day – United not being “United” is an ever evolving story which looks set to continue way past this terrible season. Anyone who faces them know they have a chance, and more times than not are taking it – Villa this time round. Note/ We still all hate Jack Grealish though, don’t we? Good, just checking.

FOLLOW JACK ON TWITTER @JACKAGOODWIN

Written by Jack A. Goodwin -Follow him on Twitter @JackAGoodwin

Jack is an “alternative FPL writer” (Who knew, right?) looking for hidden tales behind the most obscure players, dark humour in the game and the creative storytelling to the most mundane of GameWeeks!

He’s played the official game for over 7 years, running leagues throughout the offices of his day job.

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Fantasy Football – Gameweek 13 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne

Triskaidekaphobia.

No, he’s not a new Albanian superstar that I’m afraid to tip as an outsider. This is the technical term for the fear of the Number 13. Looking at the fixture list for GW13, it has me sweating (if I’m capable, obviously) and stammering like a common Prince Andrew interview.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (he’s a former President of The United States, like Trump’s about to be) said that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Far be it for me to disparage a line from such a famous speech, but what a load of twaddle. If you’re facing down a grizzly bear, the last thing you’re afraid of is your fear, as the massive hairy beast is about to use your spine as a toothpick. The same goes for this FPL week. Chelsea v City? Salah injured? Robertson injured?

I’m fair sh*tting myself, I’ll have you know.

Defender: Djibril Sidibe, Everton

You know when you buy something, not because it’s good in itself, but more because it’s what it’s not? Like when somebody buys an Android device – they don’t really want an Android device, they just don’t want Apple.

This applies here, as Everton face Norwich City at Goodison Park. Marco Silva must be looking over his shoulder every five seconds wondering if he’s the next manager to get the November International Break bullet, and pondering how the hell he’s still actually in a job. (Most likely because Jose didn’t fancy the Everton gig, truth be told).

However, a home game against the most out of form team in the league offers another step in the right direction, following their home draw with Spurs and their away win at St. Mary’s. Since Norwich claimed that famous victory over Manchester City in GW5, they have scored two goals. Yep, TWO.

Sidibe has shifted Seamus Coleman from the starting line-up, and delivered an assist in his last outing, so for GW13 he looks a great bet, and he’s only owned by 0.2% of players. How’s THAT for a differential, eh?

Midfielder: Heung-Min Son, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur  

My sister had a baby girl on Tuesday evening (welcome to the world Emma, I’ll have your FPL team registered by GW14 I promise), and her husband was naturally by her side as the delivery was taking place. So, when I went to see the new arrival on Wednesday morning, I realised that he hadn’t really been outside of the hospital in about 12 hours, and had been cut off from the outside world. His face when I told him about what had happened at Spurs between Tue PM and Wed AM was a picture….

So, Spurs enter a brave new world with the Special/Not So Special/I Can’t Believe He’s Not Special One, and we all watch on in anticipation to see what will transpire. Will Vertonghen be the new Terry or the new Rojo? Will Danny Rose be the new Ashley Cole or the new Luke Shaw?

In FPL terms, it’s too tempting not to have a punt on this Spurs side, so with that in mind I’m plumping for the least risky option. He’s your Son. He’s my Son. (He may be the subject of millions of paternity tests as a result). If Jose can get Spurs rolling again, you have to believe that Son will be front and centre of all the action.

Forward: Gerard Deulofeu, Watford

To give Hugh Laurie his dues, you can see what he’s trying to achieve at Watford since coming in. Steady the ship defensively (3 clean sheets in the last five), and then start scoring at the other end.

Deulofeu has two goals, an assist and four bonus points in his last two outings, and faces a Burnley side at Vicarage Road that aren’t great on their travels.

It’s a former Barcelona star against Burnley. Don’t you just love the modern Premier League? You never had that when I was a kid.

Captain: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

It’s a little-known fact, but Raheem’s idol is Ronan Keating.

He loves all his work, from when Ronan first made a holy show of himself on The Late Late Show with Boyzone (if you’ve never seen the clip, google it, it’s legendary), to his solo work. His favourite song from the Keating back catalogue is ‘Life Is A Rollercoaster’. You can see that too, as Raheem is living his actual life like he’s on one.

From media ‘bad boy’ and all the racial undertones that encompassed, to passionate and admirable role model fearlessly speaking out when others remained silent, to England camp rabble-rouser and Joe Gomez assailant. There’s never a dull moment with Raheem.

However, he is an exceptional footballer with real drive, and following his travails over the international break, I fully expect him to take out all his frustrations on Chelsea this weekend. The Blues have conceded 12 goals in 6 away games this season, and not a clean sheet to be seen. While they will pose questions of the City rear-guard, Raheem and friends will do likewise. They’re also facing the goalkeeper with the lowest % of shots saved in the league, Kepa Arrizabloodyhella.

Outsider: Harvey Barnes, Leicester City

The Leicester City secret is out, and if you don’t have at least two Foxes in your squad, you’re doing it wrong. But for those of you who don’t, and are looking for a budget entry into their entertaining squad, look no further than young Harvey Barnes. A regular starter, a goal and five assists thus far, a price tag of under £6m, and an ownership of 1.2%.

Draft: Moussa Djenepo, Southampton

Back from injury, before which he scored twice. Owned by just 0.1% and back in the team.

They’re calling him the ‘New Mane’ on the South Coast. In Liverpool they call him the ‘Next Mane’.

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Fantasy Football – Gameweek 13 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof rantsofarebel.wordpress.com.

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Fantasy Football – Gameweek 11 Preview –

Written by @NiallHawthorne

 

Many of you now have big decisions to make. Those you have previously chosen have left you down, and not delivered what you wanted. But as ever there’s a chance to change your mind and get it right this time. Who’s going to deliver what you need? Who’s going to make your life better? Who’s going to (finally) deliver on all that promise?

Yep, just as each FPL decision is important, the upcoming General Election in Britain is a once in a lifetime event in terms of importance and significance, and you have a chance to choose your future.

But let’s be honest, your choices for GW11 are significant too, so let’s go!

 

Defender: Marcos Alonso, Chelsea

 

Considering the fact that Alonso missed the first 4 GW’s of the season, his points haul of 36 points in 6 weeks is bloody impressive and too good to ignore.

This week Chelsea are away to Watford who are the lowest scorers in the league this season with a sensationally crap five goals in ten matches. Chelsea and Alonso have three clean sheets in his six appearances, and are aiming for a hat-trick of consecutive clean sheets. Throw in his attacking ambition and this really seems to be a no-brainer this week.

 

Midfielder: Youri Tielemans, Leicester City

 

Last season’s post-January break out star started a bit slowly this season, but just like his team, is now flying high. He has twenty points from his last two outings which have yielded two goals, an assist and two bonus points.

The humiliation that the Foxes inflicted on the Saints should ensure none of them get past the Pearly Gates when the time comes, but that’s a while away, so I suspect that they’ll continue to plunder points and make life hell for opponents. This weekend they visit Crystal Palace, and I’m tipping Tielemans to continue his scorching form.

 

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Forward: Marcus Rashford, Manchester United 

 

Trying to analyse this Manchester United team is like trying to analyse Brexit. Nobody really knows what’s going on, what’s going to happen, and any predictions will make you look like a bloody fool.

Hi everybody! I’m a bloody fool!

The return of Anthony Martial will free up Marcus Rashford to return to his far more effective wide forward role (probably), and United really battered Norwich City last weekend. The two missed penalties spared the Canaries’ blushes, but it did show that United may be finding form going forward.

A trip to Dean’s Court this weekend offers further attacking opportunity. While Bournemouth are off the back of a couple of clean sheets, they’ve been against Norwich and Watford. Boasting about that would be akin to me boasting about my ability to put on my pants every morning. People are grateful, but it’s really nothing more than society expects. The Cherries won’t be keeping a clean sheet this weekend, you can take the word of a bloody fool on that.

Captain: Any Manchester City Attacking Player You Trust Pep To Pick, Manchester City

 

What’s the one thing you don’t want to have to face after you concede 9 (NINE) goals at home in a league game? That’s right, a trip to the highest scorers in the league. Unfortunately for Southampton, it’s even worse, and they face TWO trips to the highest scorers in the league. Football, eh?

This is the biggest no-brainer of the season allied with the trickiest selection dilemma since Love Island finished.

You know City are going to batter Southampton. But who will do the damage? Will Aguero start? If you know he will, it’s Triple Captain territory. But he started midweek (scoring twice) and hasn’t started in the league since 1976 or so it seems. Raheem will fill his boots, yeah? But Pep knows his side will stroll it, so will he rest him? Kevin De Bruyne then! Probably….But if at the end of the match this weekend, it wouldn’t at all surprise me to see Mahrez with 25 points, and all of the above with 1 point each after 90 second cameos off the bench.

But you should captain one of them!

Good luck….

 

Outsider: Kieran Tierney, Arsenal

 

He’s now started playing league games, and only 1.0% own him. Time to get him in, purely for the attacking potential. Also, Arsenal may stumble upon a clean sheet or two in the next few weeks as they face Southampton, Norwich and Brighton.

Worth a punt?

 

Draft: Dejan Lovren, Liverpool

 

A humongous 0.2% of FPL players own him in the classic game, and he seems to be getting the nod over Gomez in the league. If he’s available, get him in. Klopp knows best. So join Mrs. Lovren and Mo Salah and get him in your squad.

 

Fantasy Football – Gameweek 11 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof rantsofarebel.wordpress.com.

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